By Ed Martin, Editor
Anaya Keller Jones leads a chant during Monday's protest march through Lemoore.
Anaya Keller Jones leads a chant during Monday's protest march through Lemoore.
Gary Feinstein/Feinsteinfotos

An energetic legion of young protestors took to the streets of Lemoore Monday afternoon, not to spread mayhem and loot businesses, but to spread the message that black lives matter. Many of the young protesters responded to an online message urging them to join the march, all in response to the death of George Floyd, an African American man, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, killed by a police officer.

Floyd died a week ago today (Monday) when the officer, Derek Chauvin, placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, causing his untimely death. Since that day, Floyd’s demise sparked a series of protests – some of them violent – from coast to coast for the last seven days.

Lemoore is a long way from Minneapolis, but Floyd’s death, at the hands of a police officer, resonated with California. Chauvin was eventually arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The 300 or so protestors in Lemoore certainly made their presence known, starting their march from the town’s downtown area, and then marching from one side of Lemoore to the other.

At least one protester, 35-year-old Julie (who declined to give her last name), is a Lemoore High School grad who said Monday’s protest march was important. “I wanted to stand in solidarity with all people of color,” she said.

The large contingent of protesters made their way to Save Mart and then returned to the downtown area.
The large contingent of protesters made their way to Save Mart and then returned to the downtown area.
Gary Feinstein/Feinsteinfotos

It wasn’t her first march. On Sunday, she joined a similar demonstration in Fresno. She even protested in high school. “I do remember a protest in high school,” she recalled. “There was a protest for getting more pay for teachers. I was involved with that too.”

Like many of the protesters who attended Monday’s march, she saw a message on social media. “Someone texted it to me, and I decided to come out today and be a part of it.”  

Lemoore’s peaceful protest, attended by a crowd numbering over 200 protesters, wore out plenty of shoe leather Monday afternoon as the loud contingent, many of them carrying signs and wearing COVID-19 masks, began their march in downtown Lemoore. Along the way, they likely picked up a few stragglers as they walked down West D Street before turning north on Lemoore Avenue.

From Lemoore Avenue, the lively marchers turned West on Cinnamon and marched to the intersection where Cinnamon met Fox Street, also the location of the Lemoore Police Department. The protesters remained there for about 10 minutes as cars slowly pass through the intersection, some honking their horns in solidarity, while others may have seemed surprised to see actual protesters in Lemoore.

A few drivers were honking their horns in disagreement. “There was definitely one truck, trying to get people to come and do bad things. We’re about peaceful protests, and they’re goading people to come out and get angry with them so that they can turn it into a negative thing,” said Julie.

 And there were a few protesters who may have taken the bait.

“So, I was trying to get people to come back because they’ll use any excuse, you know, being out in the road, talking to people that are driving by and getting in their faces,” she continued. “They just want to see the bad light, the negative light, when this is all just a peaceful protest.”

Lemoore police officers were noticeably absent. They kept their distance Monday afternoon, but fortunately, the sign-carrying contingent didn’t give local law enforcement any reasons to interfere.

The protesters then marched to Lemoore Avenue, turned right, and in about 10 minutes, found themselves at the Save Mark Shopping Center. From there, they walked west on Lemoore Avenue, stopped at St. Peters, and then returned to Lemoore’s downtown.

But they weren’t finished. The group returned to the police station and then backtracked to the old Lemoore City Hall on Fox Street. They then marched to Lemoore High School, where presumably, the march ended.


Legion of young protestors spread peaceful, positive messages in Lemoore march